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Anthony Payne

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Anthony Payne (born August 2, 1936) is an English composer, most famous for the work published as Edward Elgar: The Sketches for Symphony No. 3 Elaborated by Anthony Payne.

Born in London, Payne was interested in composing music from an early age. After studying at Durham University, he spent a period as a freelance musicologist. Since the mid 1960s when he composed his Phoenix Mass, he received commissions for new works from several important ensembles including the English Chamber Orchestra and the Nash Ensemble; his orchestral work Time’s Arrow was premiered at The Proms in London in 1990. He has also composed a Concerto for Orchestra (1974) and other orchestral pieces, as well as chamber, instrumental and choral works.

When Elgar died, he left more than 130 pages of sketches for a third symphony. Although initially reluctant to allow anyone to use these sketches (Elgar himself had expressed a wish that no-one should “tinker” with them), the Elgar family realised that in 2005 they would come out of copyright. They therefore approved Payne’s elaboration of the sketches, on which he had been working and lecturing intermittently since 1993, and he subsequently completed the piece. Payne’s version of the symphony was first performed in 1998 to immediate acclaim, and has received many subsequent performances and several recordings.

Payne has subsequently also composed a version of Pomp and Circumstance March No. 6 from Elgar’s incomplete sketches for the work, which received its first performance under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis at a Prom concert on August 2, 2006 - Payne’s 70th birthday.

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